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Showing posts from September 30, 2007

Good Trees or Bad Trees?

This discussion regarded Natural Church Development and which of the eight quality characteristics was the most difficult to improve.

A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions (Mt 7:17-20).Passionate spirituality is the lowest quality characteristic in most of New England’s Lutheran churches. It seems that this may be the most difficult to improve, at least for someone in the leadership of the church. Questions in the survey that indicate the level of spirituality are, “Times of prayer are an inspiring experience for me”[1] and “I am enthusiastic about my church.”[2] Many Christians do not have as vital a prayer life as they should. Despite teaching, prayer meetings, Bible studies etc., can the leadersh…

What's Your Name?

We have all been called names, some good and some bad. I remember being called fat, difficult, insubordinate, careless, slow. What about you? Sometimes you aren't actually called a name, but treated in a way that implies you are careless, stupid, a screw up? It's painful. What does God say about names?

"Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To those who are victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give each of them a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it" (Rev. 2:17).

Naming is very personal and intimate. We name our spouses, children, our pets. We have "pet names" for those we love: sweetie, honey, sweetheart. God names us, calls us beloved, my child, precious, holy and mine. Can you imagine the Lord having a special, pet name for us, that only he and we know?

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass throug…